Monthly Turfgrass Roundup: November 2015
Botanizing in Bangkok

Turf on Twitter

Bill Kreuser asked how many in the turf industry are on Twitter. As of this week, it seems to be a little more than 20,000.

John Kaminski suggested looking at accounts with a large number of followers to get an estimate, which is about 9,000.

I pointed out that one should not just count followers, but should make sure they are from real accounts. Some fake accounts have distinctive characteristics in the follower to following ratio, and in the number of tweets, that make them easy to identify.

John Smart suggested that we should look at The IOG and BIGGA accounts too, rather than only US-based accounts.

Taking this approach, one would want to find all the followers of the accounts of interest, and then count the unique followers, since one account may follow for example both @TurfDiseases and @BIGGALtd.

Using the twitteR package in R, I got the follower lists for these accounts:

I then combined the lists, which gives a total (as of follower lists obtained during the week of Nov 30) of 48,203 followers. But they are not unique, because many followers follow more than one of the above accounts. Selecting only the unique followers, one finds this:

  • There are 23,928 unique accounts following those turf accounts listed above.
  • There are 22,595 unique accounts that have sent out at least one tweet. That is, their statuses count is > 0.

A lot of those accounts will be rarely used or inactive, but to make those estimates, I leave as an exercise to the reader.

The code I used is here. You'll need to put in your own API key and access token information.


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